David Patrick Leaves UCR men’s basketball; Mike Magpayo new acting coach

RIVERSIDE – David Patrick, who turned around the UC Riverside basketball program during his two-year stint on the Highlanders’ bench, resigned Wednesday to become the associate head coach at the University of Arkansas. In his place, Patrick’s former chief lieutenant, Mike Magpayo becomes UCR’s acting head coach.

Magpayo’s promotion was his second in less than a month. In early June, Patrick promoted him to associate head coach. It is the 40-year-old Magpayo’s first head coaching job.

“I haven’t had time (to process it). You go to all these coaching seminars, and (UCR Director of Athletics) Tamica Smith-Jones puts on a great one here where they tell you you get in the popcorn machine,” Magpayo said. “Well, I’m definitely in the popcorn machine now.

“I’m excited, but I was sad – very sad — when DP told us the news. Coach Patrick is just a great human being and I’m feeling it and I was feeling it last night when he told us. I really have allowed that to marinate more than I’ve allowed the excitement of being a head coach to marinate. But I feel great, to be honest.”

Both Patrick and Magpayo came from the same coaching tree, one featuring branches like Kyle Smith at Washington State and Randy Bennett at St. Mary’s. An assistant at Columbia, Campbell University and the University of San Francisco, Magpayo coached under Smith at USF. He came in the door with Patrick in April 2018 and Magpayo is as aware as anyone of the huge shoes awaiting his filling.

In Patrick’s two years at UCR, he turned the program into a disciplined, defensive behemoth that suffocated even the highest-scoring offenses. The Highlanders went from nine wins in 2018-19 to a Division I-program best 17 last season with a defense that ranked No. 1 in the Big West in points-allowed and No. 7 in the country. Patrick said because Magpayo played an integral role in coaching that defense, the transition should be seamless.

Along with that, Patrick’s overarching emphasis on discipline carried over into the classroom, where UCR’s players earned a cumulative 3.09 GPA in one of the Big West’s most academically demanding schools.

As for Patrick, a branch from that coaching tree reached out and grabbed him. He and Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman go back nearly 20 years. They met when Patrick was at St. Mary’s and Musselman was coaching first, the Warriors, then the Kings. Musselman offered Patrick the associate head coaching job last year, but Patrick said he wanted to stay another year “because I had unfinished business here.”

When Musselman called again earlier this year, Patrick’s ties to the region made the offer hard to turn down. Patrick was formerly an LSU assistant and his wife grew up in Oberlin, LA., three hours from Fayetteville.

“I went to high school down there and the title of associate head coach at a perennial SEC powerhouse was too hard to turn down the second time around,” Patrick said. “Coming off my first year, I hadn’t figured out if I could coach yet. But we made strides this year in where the program is headed. As much as we love California and UCR, we’re away from family and the opportunity to work with someone I consider family and for my immediate family, it was just too hard to turn down.”

About the Author: TEAM BEPINKU.COM

We share trending news and latest information on Business, Technology, Entertainment, Politics, Sports, Automobiles, Education, Jobs, Health, Lifestyle, Travel and more. That's our work. We are a team led by Mahammad Sakil Ansari.